You have your television and home theater
receiver; you just bought your new speakers and subwoofer
and are ready to test things out. It's time to break out
the measuring tape because precision is vital to achieving
the full potential of your home theater system. For this
article, we are going to focus on a 5.1 surround sound system.
The term "5.1" refers to the number of speakers
and subwoofers in the system respectively. So for a 5.1
surround sound system, there are five speakers (the center
channel, the two front speakers, and the two rear speakers)
and one subwoofer.
When placing your home theater speakers, try to use the
same amount of speaker wire for each type of speaker. For
example, use the same length of wire for each of the front
speakers. This will allow the signal to reach each speaker
in about the same instant. I say about because
there are variations in the wire which could cause the signal
to reach one speaker slightly (fractions of a fraction of
a second) before the other. By making the two lengths equal,
you ensure that this delay remains tiny and unnoticeable.
The center channel should always be placed either immediately
above or immediately below the viewing screen. Make sure
the speaker is pointed directly at the audience.
The two front speakers should be the same distance from
the audience as the center channel. Doing this will ensure
that the sound will travel from each speaker to the audience
in the same amount of time and reduce the chances of there
being a noticeable delay between what takes place on screen
to when you hear it. Each of the front speakers should also
be positioned an equal distance from the TV on either side.
This distance is dependant on your specific tastes; just
make sure that the distances are both equal.
The rear speakers should be mounted on the walls on either
side of the audience. Their purpose is to provide a sense
of atmosphere, not provide the main sound for your home
theater system. Therefore, they should not be pointed directly
at the audience's ears or you risk over powering the center
channel and the two front speakers. Again, distance is important.
Try to have the rear speakers the same distance from the
TV in order to use the same amount of speaker wire and if
possible have them placed equidistance from the audience.
Bass tones by their nature are more difficult to localize
than the midrange and high notes of the other five speakers.
This will give you more freedom as to where to place the
subwoofer. However, the location surrounding the subwoofer
can greatly influence the bass tones you hear. Placing the
subwoofer in a corner or under a table will create a deeper
resonating tone as the sound waves reflect off of the surfaces.
The placement of the subwoofer is up to you, depending on
the type of bass you want. Experiment with different locations
and find the one that best suits your taste.
Realizing the full potential of your home theater speakers
is not a difficult task. By following these guidelines,
you will be ready to enjoy your home theater the way it
was meant to be heard.
About the Author
Jon Martin is the Webmaster of the Home Theater Accessories
Resource. The Home Theater Accessories Resource is your
guide to home theater accessories.
This article came from the Connecting Home Theater Components
section of the site.